For the record, no, I didn’t go and “brief” Senate Democratic chiefs of staff on the finer points of the supercommittee. I did go speak with a bunch of Senate Democratic chiefs of staff. They said they occasionally invite journalists in to chat, and we agreed I would attend for a free-ranging discussion -- I wasn’t delivering a presentation, much less a briefing on the supercommittee. The focus was much more on the 2012 race and Congress’s low approval ratings. Their prior meeting had run late, so we only talked for 30 minutes or so.
This is how I do my job. I am in continuous conversation with dozens of staffers, in dozens of offices, from both parties. Today, for instance, I spent two hours with a Republican staffer from one of the presidential campaigns. As it happens, we talked more about the supercommittee and specific budget plans than I did with the Senate Democratic chiefs of staff. In a few moments, I’m scheduled to talk with a finance expert who used to work on the Republican side of the Senate Budget Committee. Tomorrow, I’m heading up to the Hill for a meeting in a Democratic Senate office.
I’m always looking to meet more sources and hear more perspectives -- hence my interest in attending the session with the Democratic chiefs of staff. But “brief” them on the supercommittee? It’s not even clear what that would mean. These were Senate chiefs of staff. What I would I tell them about a committee that some of their bosses were serving on that they didn’t already know?